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Interview with Cara Putman and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! It’s always fun to welcome a friend here. Cara Putman and I cross paths all year long at various writer events and I have enjoyed every conversation I’ve ever had with her. She is an amazing sister in Christ and I’m thrilled that she is my guest this week. She writes legal thrillers, and is giving away a copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win.

Cara Putman is the award-winning author of more than thirty legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, completed her law degree at twenty-seven, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a busy mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Tell us about your latest release: She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard. Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.
Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.
This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I’ve learned that when I’m in the flow, I can write a chapter in an hour and a half. That helps. But it’s about knowing my characters and having an idea of where they are going. Then I sit down and write what I see on the screen of my mind. Thanks to law school, I write pretty cleanly, so that also helps with speed.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? At a certain point, I recognize that the writing is as good as I can get it. Beyond that I need help and insight from editors and first readers. Understanding those concepts helps me to release it to the world.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? The first that I truly remember is getting up EARLY to watch Princess Diana marry Prince Charles. Maybe that’s where my love of romance started. I was seven, but I remember my mom waking my sister and I up so we could watch the ceremony. Her dress was so much; it was every little girl’s Cinderella dream.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I love writing. It’s part of who I am and has been a dream and need of mine since I was thirteen. Ideas come from all over, and it keeps me fresh. One of the things I love about writing is that I can always work to become a better writer. And I can always keep my eyes open for new ideas. Now, it’s part of my DNA.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I started writing in 2005, self-publishing was still nascent other than vanity presses. I knew I wanted to pursue traditional publishing because there was so much I didn’t know about publishing, that I really wanted the partnership of working with a publisher. I’ve learned a lot from my editors at various houses. I also appreciate having marketing help. They have access to avenues I don’t, and together we can cover more ground to get the word out about my books. Now I’m what I would call hybrid. I re-release my older books on my own. In fact I’m turning many of my WWII novels into audiobooks this year. It’s exciting and daunting, because so many of the pieces my publishers cover, now I get to do: covers, editing (yes, I reedit even though these books have been thoroughly edited as well as marketing).

Here is where you can find Cara online:

Website: http://www.CaraPutman.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/Cara.Putman
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cara_Putman
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caraputman/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caracputman/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cara-putman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/939004.Cara_C_Putman

Cara is giving away a copy of Delayed Justice to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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Interview with Author Gail Kittleson and a Giveaway

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I LOVE WWII. LOVE it. I love studying it, I love reading about it. So, it’s a pleasure for me to have author Gail Kittleson as my guest today. Gail is giving away her WWII era Kiss Me Once to one of you, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: My husband and I live in northern Iowa, where I used to teach for a community college. Before that, I taught in Oregon, and love cheering people on in their writing and language learning. My degree in ESL is a perfect fit, because I enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

Tell us about your current release: Kiss Me Once Again, my current release, is named by a phrase in a World War II love song my mom used to sing around the house. Glenora, a self-sacrificing young woman, has already given up a lot when she took over the household after her mother died. Then she lost her beau at Pearl Harbor…and her younger brother went to war. Glenora gave up her scholarship to Iowa State University to help her father in the family garage.
She sees Old Maid written all over her life, but the tension of wondering whether her brother survived when a typhoon hit his ship in the Pacific overwhelms every other consideration. This contributes to her father suffering health problems, and the cycle seems unending.
When a returned wounded veteran comes to town and offers to help out at the garage, relief fills her. This man has a way with ornery old trucks and tractors…and also with her father.
With her heart sealed up against romance, Glenora has no idea second chances might await her.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher? I think age helps with this. I always say I would have started this career much younger if I had believed in myself. But self-confidence grows slowly…for me it took decades. But then came a time when I felt a compulsion to get a story out there, and that got me over the finish line.

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? (ie. Moon Walk, Watergate, Pope being shot) Ah, I may be older than you think. It was the assassination of JFK when I was in high school. My parents voted Republican, but still, that event affected me…especially when all of the parallels to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln were publicized.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Always wanted to, but had no idea WHAT to write. The lack of confidence I referred to above made it seem that none of my ideas were worth pursuing.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Not at all. A character comes to me and whispers her story in my ear, little by little. As I do historical research, the plot develops around what was going on in the world (the war) at the time. I have no predetermined length in mind, but my novels usually come in at around 100,000 words.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? People with an interest in history are drawn to my novels, especially those with family connections to World War II. Some of them have their parents’ stories tucked away in their memories, or in their attics…and I learn so much from them when they attend a book talk.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? These characters have not been with me always. One day, one of them appeared when I was working in a B&B near where I live. I thought, “In WWII, this would have been a boarding house, and somebody would have cooked and cleaned for the residents.” Voila, one of my characters!

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? More research. The more I learn about the war, the more plot possibilities arise. Perhaps I learn of one more that one of my characters might follow.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? This is not true for me. Because I have no plot laid out, but just keep writing as I research and develop secondary characters, the changes I make come later on, in one of the final edits.

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? Sometimes I call an old friend who has much more skill at plotting than I do, to ask if she thinks a certain action or connection is too far-fetched. What often happens, though, is that what really occurred during the war far exceeds anything I could imagine.

I often wondered….when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? Usually, they flow. But the manuscript before me right now is about a REAL LIFE WWII nurse, and her exploits so blow me away that I had a hard time getting started. How could I possibly honor her enough for all she risked? Once I began writing, things got better, but I still have that paying enough tribute to her is virtually impossible.

What is the farthest location you traveled to in order to research a book? My husband and I studied French in the early eighties in an isolated French mountain village. At the time, I had no idea I would be writing about WWII some day, but what we saw and experienced there instructed me while writing A Purpose True about the French Resistance.

If only I had known what a significant role that town played in the war, I would have interviewed everything that moved!

Last spring, we celebrated our 40th anniversary in England. Wow…so much came alive for me that I had already written about. Maybe one future novel will take place totally in Great Britain.

How old were you when you wrote your first book? Too old to mention…haha! About fifty-five.

Here is where you can find Gail online: https://www.facebook.com/gail.kittleson https://twitter.com/GailGkittleson

Find Gail’s recent release online:

Gail is giving away readers choice a paperback (US only) or an e-book (anyone) of Kiss Me Once Again to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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